Caught in the Crossfire - Trans World Radio Canada

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    • Aug5Wed

      Caught in the Crossfire

      August 5, 2015 by TWR Canada
      Filed Under:
      Africa, Prayer
      When you work in so many different parts of the world, as we do, it's inevitable that you encounter setbacks and trouble. We do our best to stay out of national politics and remain neutral, but media and radio infrastructure is often targeted in conflicts and sometimes you just get caught in the crossfire. TWR's David Katana was in Africa to install a satellite downlink at a Christian radio station when things went horribly wrong.

      David's Story

      David arrived in the eastern border town and spent two days with colleagues and seeing the sights as he walked from the hotel to the radio station. On the third day, David began his main task of setting up a satellite dish on the roof of the local Christian radio station. While installing the equipment, he heard a mass of shouts and screams and pops from the street.

      Peering over the side of the building, he saw a crowd running away down the street. The station director suddenly appeared on the roof. They had to leave now, or they might not get out. David grabbed his tools and rushed to a waiting car.

      The car careened through the streets headed back to the safety of the compound where the radio station employees lived with their families. Inside, the house was full of people taking cover from bullets. At night, the flying bullets were lit like fireflies. Before dawn, the chaos seemed to have died down so the team ventured out of the compound to get some news.

      They drove through the city, but soon noticed a strange car following them. Hearts pounding, they raced to a nearby walled-in hostel. The pastor flew from the car and pounded on the doors with both fists. Gunfire erupted from the car that had followed them and armed men they hadn't seen hiding in the bushes next to the entrance. From inside the hostel, bullets hit the wall like heavy rainfall.

      David makes a call to his colleagues at TWR. It's almost impossible to hear the person on the other end of the line. Someone in the next room is shot and screams out. There's more gunfire.

      "What are those sounds I'm hearing," the person on the phone asks David.

      Yelling over the chaos, David said, "I'm hiding under a mattress because they said it slows the bullets. Here is my number."

      David and the others remained pinned down for three days while TWR contacted the United Nations and arranged to get them out. Leaving the city protected by UN soldiers, David saw the border guards he'd spoken with just a few days before dead at their stations. It wasn't until he held his wife, saw his children asleep in their beds, that he felt safe again.

      The gravity of the situation he'd just survived hit him then. A tidal wave of helplessness and fear washed over him, but he praised God for the strength to endure such a traumatic event. But there were many in that conflict who had no where else to go.

      Remember TWR's missionaries and field workers in your prayers. Remember those trapped in conflict with no way out -- pray for protection, safety, and provision.